Sip away your toxins and digestive troubles with ayurveda’s classic CCF tea.
It warms away the winter blues while detoxifying, stimulating the digestive fire, and flushing away water retention.
“CCF” stands for cumin, coriander, and fennel; three spices commonly used in ayurvedic remedies and cooking for their medicinal benefits. They combine in CCF tea as a perfectly balanced threesome that’s appropriate for all body types (which we call tridoshic in ayurveda; good for vata, pitta, or kapha).
CCF tea is well-revered in ayurveda despite being so simple. Ayurvedic practitioners (myself included!) often recommend this tea to their clients alongside more specific herbs, diet, and lifestyle adjustments because it’s so helpful for improving the agni.
This digestive fire is a force that’s heavily weighted in ayurveda. The state of the agni determines one’s power of digestion and ability to absorb nutrients. Imbalanced agni causes digestive issues like bloating, constipation, or acidity. The agni is disturbed in nearly all illnesses, so making sure it burns brightly is key to overall health.
Each of the three spices in CCF tea rebalance the digestive fire whether it’s too high, too low, or generally out of whack.
Their benefits abound:
Cumin (jeeraka): Cumin is the spice for women. It supports a healthy menstrual cycle and healthy menopause, the prevention of fibroids, and everything else menstrual cycle-related. This includes the creation of healthy breast milk. When it comes to digestion, cumin is a wonder spice. It digests toxins, helps to absorb nutrients, and increases the digestive fire and metabolism.
Coriander (dhanyaka): Coriander cools any kind of excess heat in the body including burning sensations and anger. It enkindles the digestive fire without aggravating acidity. It also cools and strengthens the urinary tract and cleanses the body’s subtle channels.
Fennel (shatapushpa): This licorice-like seed is one of the best spices for rebalancing the digestive fire and metabolism. It’s great for relieving acidity, bloating, abdominal pains, and gas. Fennel is calming but at the same time promotes mental alertness.
Anytime that I feel my digestion is a little off, I make a batch of CCF tea. I pour it into a thermos and sip it little by little throughout the day. Here’s how to do the same:
Put ½ teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds into 4 cups of water. You can crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle to release their volatile oils or just toss them in whole. Bring everything to a boil and then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes. Pour it into a thermos, seeds and all. Sip the tea throughout the day, straining as you go.
The next time something just doesn’t feel right with your digestion, give CCF tea a try. It works quickly and is about as natural as medicine gets.
Frawley, Dr. David and Dr. Vasant Lad. The Yoga of Herbs. Twin Lakes: Lotus Press, 2001.
Author: Julie Bernier
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: m-louis/Flickr & Herbs: Author’s Own